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Better Health Through Organic Marketing

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(Posted on Jan 24, 2015 at 08:55AM by William Cosgrove)

organic marketing strategies

I was reading an article recently and it came to me that It just so happens that there are some correlations and some disconnects between eating organic food and having a good diet of organic business strategies to improve your health.

The Correlation

You want to eat healthy, and you know that means choosing a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein but as I wandered down the aisles of my local market this week checking out the fresh produce, meats, and dairy products, I realized that there's another choice to make: Should I buy organic?

Advocates of organic food say it is safer, possibly more nutritious, and often better tasting than non-organic food (Some might take exception to that) but they also say organic production is better for the environment and kinder to animals.

But more and more shoppers seem convinced of this and even though organic food typically costs more (sometimes a lot more) sales are steadily increasing and many experts say there's not enough evidence to prove any real advantage to eating organic foods.

and The Disconnect

Even though many of us choose to pay more for organic products and well as many marketing strategies that may or may not provide real benefits the benefits of having a healthy diet of Organic marketing strategies are real. Organic marketing strategies are more economical simply because they provide longer term benefits that Paid advertising do not - but just like starting and benefiting from a healthy diet it takes time to start realizing the full benefits.

Organic strategies attract a more serious and focused customer who is looking to fulfill a particular need and not just a curiosity.

Organic strategies can provide benefits for months or even years where paid search or advertizing only benefits you as long as you are paying. Paid advertising without an organic strategy can become an addiction that forces you to keep paying for your dependence and increases with your craving for more and more to satisfy your goals.

Organic Reach

Organic reach is defined as the total number of unique people who were shown your content through unpaid channels where paid reach is the total number of unique people who were shown your post as a result of ads.

Organic content is part of a natural ecosystem where there is no need for constant monetary intervention, a website and its web pages are found, engaged and socialized with, and a business’s marketing objectives met.

Like natural ecosystems that are used by people and companies for gain, they need to be maintained and nurtured as these ecosystems evolve and change but mostly their life and success is ongoing, long-term and self-sustaining.

Organic Search

Organic Search (SEO) is a longer term investment for your company but pays big dividends. Search engine results pages (SERPs) can be divided into two parts, organic search results and paid search results. High rankings on organic search engine result pages is critical and is the primary goal of search engine optimization.

Organic search results comprise the majority of clicks from search engines, with many sources claiming as much as 80% of all search engine traffic.

70 percent of links that search users click on are organic results.

70 percent to 80 percent of search users ignore paid search ads.

75 percent of search users are not clicking past the first page of search results.

Organic search traffic produces 25 percent higher conversion rates than traffic driven by equivalent paid search traffic.

Insights from BrightEdge’s Data Cube reveal that the clear champion of website traffic is organic search.

Overwhelmingly, organic search trumps other traffic generators, driving 51% of all visitors for both B2B and B2C businesses.

Another advantage of organic search marketing is that organic listings have a much higher level of trust than do paid listings. Most people that do organic searches know that search engines have a say in what shows up in their searches, and that paid listings are more about who is paying the most to have their listings shown.

Top organic positions drive 50% more traffic than top paid positions and it also used to be that search rankings were solely keyword dependent and ranking for these keywords aside from being very expensive was about the only way to get sufficient reach. But today’s algorithms also provide ways that rank for quality content and phrases that increases your chances of being found and ranking higher in search.

If you want to improve your SEO, you must have a strong content and organic marketing strategies (explained below). Strong SEO means developing a content strategy with a commitment to producing engaging, useful content for readers on a consistent basis. If you tell your story through compelling content, over time you’ll see your website’s SEO rise in searches and search rankings. Bottom line an Organic Strategy will build a long lasting web presence for your business.

In a recent interview with Rand Fisher, founder of Moz he said “One of the key misunderstandings is the power search engines have to drive traffic. There’s a perception in the marketing world that Google is last year’s news. Social is hot and content is hot and native advertising is hot … and SEO isn’t all that exciting. It may be true that SEO has been around a long time, but it is still the most powerful earned, nonpaid source of traffic on the web. Google is sending out 10 times more traffic every day than Facebook does. There are six billion searches per day, each of those resulting in 1.5 to 2.5 visits on average. Those searchers are seeking something very different from social media audiences or email audiences in that they are looking for exactly the thing they’ve told the search engine. And if the searcher arrives on your website, the power to solve that person’s problem, convert, and expose the searcher to your work is exceptional. That’s the big one. “

Organic Social

Here is a recent article by Katherine Halek entitlted Why You Shouldn’t Pay for Social Media who explains that “If you pay to advertise on social media, you may not be using your resources as efficiently as you could. There are more ways to get your name and product out there than by purchasing ads, which aren’t always worth the money they require. Opponents of this view insist that all businesses should implement paid marketing, as organic strategies look like they’re on the way out. In reality, though, there are still ways to conduct a successful grassroots promotion campaign without paying a penny to the host site — and these methods are generally way more fun.”

Organically Grown Employee And Customer referral Programs

Invest in an onsite(your real estate) branded (social) community for employee and customer referral programs and testimonials that deliver customers right to your door (website).

According to research by Implisit lead to deal conversions rates are lead by a wide margin by referrals converting the highest at 3.6% followed by leads from company websites and social channels at around 1.55% and found that lead lists, company events and email campaigns are the worst performing channels.

In this article by Roger Katz posted at ClickZ Forrester’s recent lineup of 2015 predictions for the technology landscape stated that as social media "grows up," so-called "branded communities" will be making a comeback.

What’s a branded community in this context? A managed community of brand followers and customers, usually on, or adjacent to, a brand website, glued together by familiar social digital behaviors and a commonality of brand interest.

Why is this happening now and what does it mean for social marketers?

As radical innovation on the leading social platforms slows down, and marketers become increasingly limited in their organic reach on social networks, brands are needing to move laterally to accommodate their customer-centered engagement needs in ways that social networks alone cannot accommodate.

Does that mean that brands will not be investing in their social network presence? Absolutely not. Facebook and LinkedIn remain highly worthwhile "pay-to-play" networks for excellent targeted and personalized reach. But they are no longer reliable as the sole networks for organic conversations, or as a complete solution for supporting customer questions.

Testimonials

Testimonials are a key tool to add credibility to your business. Search Engine Watchreports that 85 percent of consumers read reviews for local businesses. Dimensional Research reports that 90 percent of consumers say that positive online reviews had a direct impact on their buying decision.

Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at 89%. 20 Marketing Trends and Predictions to Consider for 2014 (Social Times)

55% of young shoppers said that a recommendation from a friend is one of the strongest influencers in getting them to try a new brand. 47% consider brand reputation to be almost as important.

60% of Millennials said that social advertising has the most influence over them in how they perceive a brand and a brand’s value and Hispanics represent the youngest segment of the population here in the US. The Millennial tech-savvy and fast-paced crowd has now surpassed Baby Boomers spending $600 billion a year compared to Baby Boomer’s $400 Billion

One of the most frequent practices is to highlight a specific customer review, or expert mention for your business.

In fact, word-of-mouth is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchases, while 63 percent of online customers say they are more likely to buy on sites with positive reviews.

What better place to all this have these emanating from to broadcast across your social channels and the internet than your website. You can also highlight customer reviews for your business and use them as testimonials on your website and landing pages.

The varied diet of Organic strategies I have mentioned here are great ways to improve the health of your business tremendously and build a healthy long lasting web presence. Let me know your thoughts and if I can help you improve your health.

William Cosgrove

Digital Marketing-Overwhelmed Yet?

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(Posted on Jun 9, 2014 at 05:06AM by William Cosgrove)
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If you are actively seeking to understand digital marketing you already have an idea of how complex it has become. And you might have also read a horror story or two about false prophets dressed up in outdated and/or less than effective or ineffective garb touting quick fixes and cheap ineffective marketing techniques they market to the unaware and uniformed.

First of all if you are not familiar with a product or a service you should be seeking information and advice from various knowledgeable sources in order to make the right decision for you and your business. If you don’t, as with anything, you open yourself up to investing in subpar or ineffective products.

Digital Marketing is an ecosystem where the seamless integration of a systems components is essential for its functioning - a central point where all the elements converge. Today you must approach it holistically.

The complexities and constantly changing landscape of digital marketing takes the right tools, specialization and constant study to be able to properly navigate, participate and be effective within it.

To help you better understand this complexity, here are a few points that highlight some of the intricacies of Digital Marketing and its constant evolution.

Having a Plan That Works

Its location culture, ideals and its people make every business unique. Every marketing strategy, therefore, must also be unique and to do that you must understand your company and your market.

You must have a strategy to generate interest for a specific product, service or idea. It’s an assessment of each individual company, and a constant work in progress in determining which forms of digital marketing will work best for you.

Is your website up to date technologically with website design that is easy to navigate?

Just to scratch the surface on updated search engine algorithms did you know that bad web design and poor navigation will get you poor search rankings. Search engines are now watching people’s habits in an effort to produce better search rankings.

So with that thought in mind sites that have good content, navigation and design are rewarded with higher organic search rankings because they stay longer and navigate deeper.

Compare that to a poorly designed web site that people simply land on the site and leave within seconds because of its look and or poor navigation – Google and the others as well, will now penalize poor design by lowering its ranking on the organic search lists.

Link Building

Did you know that it has become apparent that with the new algorithms used today, some types of link building can land you in trouble with search engines and possibly penalized you with lower page rankings and possibly being removed from search engine listings.

Today, if you want to improve your search engine rankings and attract new customers you need to engage people with good relevant content. This engagement will create the type of indirect links that the search engines are looking for today through comments, sharing and social interaction in its many forms.

It can’t be all about you anymore it also needs to be about what is important to them-How they feel about something and what is going to draw their interest. It is about bringing them to you not just you going to them.

And don’t think of web traffic as just coming from sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus –to name a few - Because these are just a part of driving web traffic as you will see in a report released by Sharaholic on Organic Search traffic vs. Social Referrals covering November of 2012 thru November of 3013.

In the report they analyzed data collected over this 13 month period across their network of 200,000+ sites that reach more than 250 million unique monthly users. tracking the amount of traffic the top 5 search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, AOL) and 5 top ranked social media sites (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Reddit) drove to publishers.

On average, according to the report, social referrals accounted for just 15.06% with Organic search traffic accounting for 41.45%.

But the importance for both is documented in a recent article on Search Engine Watch that research from Forrester tells us that social networks today have become a critical discovery platform and are now the second most popular channel for website discovery only behind organic search.

Citation Building

Citations are defined as references to your business name and address on other web pages, even if there is no link to your website.

Citations are a key component of the ranking algorithms of the major search engines. Businesses with a greater number of citations will probably rank higher than businesses with fewer citations.

Are yours uniform and up to date?

Web Site Optimization

Today this could be defined as a seamless integration of system components which is essential to be able to function properly - a central point where all the elements converge. The coordination required to synchronize all the functions of a web site can be overwhelming.

Are you overwhelmed yet?

Picture Web Page Optimization

“The web page is the most important social media development of all time. This is a weighty statement... but it’s also a true one.” Says Steven Aresenault, CEO of One Big Broadcast.

“No other form of content sharing has had such a dramatic--and long-lasting--impact on companies. These pages serve to inform and attract. They are the first impressions and the final thoughts. And using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will reinforce what they do. Web page SEO is meant to increase a brand’s visibility.”



Social Media Integration

The world of Digital Marketing is constantly changing. Consumers are flocking to the Internet seeking information about their favorite brands and products. They want the immediacy of networking; they want the ease of web site posts; they want instant communication. 

And they’re willing to give their loyalties (as well as their dollars) to companies that offer these things through social integration.

Social integration is the process of linking media forms to the Internet. It’s meant to increase a brand’s reputation, as well as subtly promote specific products or events.

Consumers are now spending their time--and their money--online. They’re seeking out company web sites, utilizing social media as a way to learn and buy. 

Social integration is linked to consumer awareness. Companies that embrace networking, blogging and more become part of an ever-expanding circle of accounts. They are connected directly to the demographics they need, bringing traffic to their sites.

A business that isn’t integrated is a business that’s losing money.

SEO and Social Automation Platforms

There are SEO and social automation platforms available that can save valuable time which translates into valuable resources. But the key to how they function is in their design and the team behind it who will be consulting on a consistent basis on changes and new developments and strategies that will keep you at peak performance.

Analytics

Measure, measure, measure. Analytics are an essential component required to measure the effectiveness of you marketing. You must be able to gauge where your marketing is being the most effective and adjust accordingly.

Your marketing company should be consulting you on a regular basis to help you understand the information contained in the analytics that they provided and work with you on adjusting to increase you marketing’s effectiveness.

One article I read that made a good point that a company that does not offer analytics is a company be should avoided-. Good advice. And another pointed out that if they don’t want to do an audit of your current marketing platform before they start making suggestions or giving you prices-Walk away-More good advice.

As a business you must understand the enormous impact of all this is too great not to have some knowledge so you can at least ask the right questions and stay informed on a continual basis. This is not something that without some knowledge you just sign up for and forget-it is a process that must constantly be monitored and adjusted to maintain and improve its effectiveness.

These are only some of the components that are involved in structuring and executing an effective online presence and digital marketing program. Content and strategies must be constantly changing and adjusted to keep up with new Technologies, Social Trends and Changes in search engines sophisticated algorithms.

Hopefully this made you aware of the complexity of the rapidly changing digital world of marketing and that you will delve deeper and get specialized competent advice to help make the best decisions for you.

William Cosgrove

Relying On Organic SEO? Your Losing Customers!

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(Posted on Jul 19, 2013 at 05:17PM )
Have you noticed that more and more ads have been creeping into Google’s search results over the last few years? The result is that all the actual search results (known as “organic” results) are being pushed further and further down the page. The Problem In the screenshot below you can see the Google Ads highlighted in the red rectangles. This is what the Google results page looks like if I search for “Brisbane mechanic” on a laptop with a screen resolution of 1280×800, which is fairly common for 14″ or 15″ laptops (different screen resolutions will show more or less of the results page). As you can see, only two organic results show on the page without needing to scroll down. The content that shows at the top of the page without having to scroll down is known as being “above the fold“. In the same space there are SIX ads! Not to mention the ads get pride of place at the top of the screen, encouraging more people to click on them.


 
 
If you’re like me you probably ignore the ads and just scroll down to the organic results, or maybe you have a plugin like AdBlock and don’t see any ads at all. So what’s the big problem? The problem is that most web users aren’t that savvy, and many don’t even know that there’s a difference between those first three listings and the rest. Many people are just lazy and will click on the first result they see. Ask your  mother or grandmother to search for something on Google. I bet they click on the ad

For some results there aren’t ANY organic results above the fold. That means everything you see after you search is advertising!



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What Else Can I Do? “I want to rank number 1 on Google” is not a valid digital marketing strategy. Even less so now that the actual organic listings are being pushed so far down the page. The good news is there are so many other things that you can be doing to improve traffic to your website other than “traditional” SEO. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Embrace social media. I don’t mean go and post funny cat photos on Facebook. I also don’t mean to go and buy a bunch of fake Facebook likes on Fiverr. I’m talking about actually being social. This gets right to the heart of what social media is about. Do some research and find out where your target market is active online – is it Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? TripAdvisor? The answer will vary depending on your industry and the demographics of your target market. Once you know where your target market is, go and be social with them! Think about what that means. Is standing on a soap box yelling about your latest products or services “being social”? No! Yet that’s exactly what most companies do on their social media accounts. What you should be doing instead is being helpful, getting involved in conversations and solving people’s problems.
  • Become the authority for information or news on your topic. Seek out and write for relevant publications that may reach your target audience. A good way to do this is to look on websites like SourceBottle for journalists and bloggers that are seeking sources for their articles. Get in contact when they’re looking for something that you can help with, and you’ll often end up in a magazine, newspaper or on a website appearing as the expert on a certain topic, with a link to your website.
  • One of the best ways to get extra exposure and PR is to network with other people in the industry, and with opinion leaders. Do the groundwork and build up these relationships and it will pay off in the longer term. If you need help with networking, I’d highly suggest reading Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.
  • Make the most of your existing customers and website traffic by getting them to sign up to regular e-mail newsletters. Once a month or quarter may be enough, depending on your website. Don’t send out updates just for the sake of it. Offer something interesting, insightful, newsworthy and/or funny. This will keep people coming back to your website and keep your brand front-of-mind.
  • Find relevant blogs and comment on them. You’re not commenting for the power of the backlinks, but once again to help build your name as an expert and someone helpful. Be sure to use your name (not your company name) as this will make it much easier for people to relate to you, and you’ll come across as much more genuine and approachable.
  • Go the extra mile for your customers. Word of mouth always has been (and still is) one of the most powerful forms of advertising you can get. Your customers will become advocates for your company (and website)!
  • Branding is super important. Make sure your brand is consistent and easily recalled by customers. A nice clean website design is also important, as bad design can result in visitors clicking the back button straight away. Come up with a great tagline or business name and it will stick in people’s minds much longer. Guess who they’ll think of when they need the product or service that you provide?
These are just a few ideas, and none of them are new. What is important is that while everyone talks about doing these things, hardly anyone actually follows through! The end result of all these actions will be more direct traffic for your website, more income for your business and, ironically enough, better search rankings! All of these points will either directly or indirectly influence your search rankings. So how about spending less time on building crappy links, and more time actually working for your customers?
by Luke Chapman

DealerNet Services

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